January, Anno Domini 2013
As I write this note I am aware that it is the last one I will writing as pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church. The time has come for me to retire from full-time ministry, but not all of ministry. As Dana and I prepare to move to Florida at the end of the month I realize that all of us are in for a big change. Coming to Texas 18 years ago was a big change, and moving to Florida will be as big a change. Dana’s 6+ years here were also a big change for her. We are both looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in our new location. We look forward to simple things like sitting together in church, unless I am filling a pulpit somewhere.
I do hope to be called upon to preach, as we will be living on the border of two presbyteries; Southwest Florida and Sun Coast. I would also like to get involved in substitute teaching in the local schools. I will also check with the local community college about teaching elective overview courses in the Old and New Testaments. I have done this in the past in North Carolina and here in Paris. Dana is also looking into options for our life there.
Faith Presbyterian has been a faithful witness in this community since 1973, being one of the first two churches west of the Mississippi River to join with the newly formed P.C.A. We have never been great in number, but I believe we have been great in our impact on our community. You will find our folks and resources at Agape House, the Food Pantry, the county jail, and other shared ministries. God has raised up capable leaders in this church over the years. I believe He will continue to do so. Dana and I pray daily for the man (and family) God is preparing to come here and continue the work at Faith P.C. This is an application of I Corinthians 3:5-11. There has been a succession of pastors, ruling elders, deacons, Sunday School teachers, women’s ministry leaders, etc. Through each of them God has worked to maintain and advance His kingdom here in Paris, Lamar County, Red River County, and beyond.
Because we have striven to remain true to God’s revealed word, we have seen men and women come from some distance to be part of our fellowship, service, and worship. Our church is much richer because of the faithfulness of each one. I guess I see the future for us summed up in Paul’s words in Acts 20:24- “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Pastor John